By: Nalin Jayetileke
England Test Captain Joe Root’s century put England on top of the test in Galle. Joe Root made his 18th test century, first for the 2020 season and have got England in front with a lead of 185 with six first-innings wickets still in hand. It was the 8th time Root went pas a score of 150 or more in Test cricket and is the highest made by an England cricketer playing in a test match in Sri Lanka. Root was seen playing the sweep shot often that got the better off the Sri Lankan Spinners. With the fall of Jonny Bairstow in the second over of the day, one would have expected Sri Lanka to apply pressure but the visitors were able to ease pressure by taking singles which was almost 4 runs per over.
Due to rain the match came to an early close. Sri Lanka will have to do a lot of work tomorrow, first to get the set batsman out and then see if we can curtail England to less than 450, which is possible if the Sri Lankan fast bowlers can get their line and length, with the morning moisture and a bit of dampness that the wickets may have, they will have the environment in Sri Lankan favor to take wickets. However, Sri Lanka will have to bat with endurance and steady their 2nd innings than they did in the 1st, if they are to have some resistance towards the visitors and to get them to bat again .
At the close of play, the Englishman were 320 for 4 (Root 168*, Lawrence 73), leading by by 185 runs.